Internet Journal of Airway Management

 

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Volume 5 (January 2008 to December 2009)

 

Zadrobilek E, Missaghi SM, Krasser K, Puchner W, Marian F (for the Austrian Working Group for Airway Management). Recommendations of the Austrian Working Group for Airway Management: Preoperative Airway Evaluation and Documentation, Dissemination, and Communication of Difficult Airway Information



Communication of Difficult Airway Information for Future Patient Care

 

 

The experienced difficult airway (DA) is an insufficiently communicated problem. Verbal communication of DA information to the patient is unreliable; the patient may not understand the significance of this information and may be physically unable to communicate in a medical emergency situation. The distribution of a notification and a written report to the patient and explanation of the importance of these documents are more effective options.

 

The information on a previously experienced DA, as the most reliable predictor of a DA during subsequent general anesthesia (7), is considered essential for future patient care (2, 17). Therefore, it is of great importance to obtain information on a previously experienced DA, especially in cases where face-mask ventilation and/or conventional tracheal intubation turn out to be difficult or impossible despite accurate preoperative airway evaluation. Patients with an experienced DA should be encouraged to give consent for enrollment in a departmental DA database with agreement to confidential exchange of medical information for use within the institution and for external queries (6), unless a national DA database is instituted.

 

Recommendations of the Austrian Working Group for Airway Management

 

We recommend the communication of DA information by distribution of a notification and a written report to the patient and explanation of the importance of these documents. We further emphazise the implementation of a departmental DA database for use within the institution and for external queries.

 

 

References


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